Who’s the “Real” American Idol?

Cindy Sheehan’s res­ig­na­tion from the anti-Iraq-war protest touched me on sev­er­al per­son­al lev­els.

For starters:

Casey died for a coun­try which cares more about who will be the next Amer­i­can Idol than how many peo­ple will be killed in the next few months while Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans play pol­i­tics with human lives.”

Fol­lowed by the intro­spec­tion:

It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this sys­tem for so many years and Casey paid the price for that alle­giance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.”

Cindy’s post reveals how she was trapped between the pol­i­tics of the Left Democ­rats and the Right Con­ser­v­a­tives. Using exple­tives, some­one might say she got f****d between both extremes. If you look at some of the com­ments on Casey Sheehan’s memo­r­i­al site, you’ll observe how Amer­i­cans are caught between two extremes in polit­i­cal and soci­o­log­i­cal terms. If you’re pro-choice, you’re pro-death, claims one com­ment!

I’ve always been exas­per­at­ed by the bipar­ti­san pol­i­tics of the USA. Hence my reluc­tance to be ‘labeled’ left or right. It reminds me of Asterix’s “The Great Divide”! Where is sci­en­tif­ic expres­sion in US pol­i­tics today? Sci­en­tif­ic eco­nom­ics favors the cap­i­tal­ism of the right, where­as it also encour­ages pro-choice abor­tion rights and stem-cell research of the Left! What a pity, that ratio­nal­ist Amer­i­cans have to choose between these two unpalat­able polit­i­cal choic­es today!

In this con­text, I can’t help but quote Swa­mi Vivekanan­da in one of his lec­tures in Colom­bo on 16th Jan­u­ary 1897:

I used to read books writ­ten by globe-trot­ting trav­ellers, espe­cial­ly for­eign­ers, who deplored the igno­rance of the East­ern mass­es, but I found out that it was part­ly true and at the same time part­ly untrue. If you ask a ploug­man in Eng­land, or Amer­i­ca, or France, or Ger­many to what par­ty he belongs, he can tell you whether he belongs to the Rad­i­cals or the Con­ser­v­a­tives, and for whom he is going to vote. In Amer­i­ca he will say whether he is Repub­li­can or Demo­c­rat.”

I’m quot­ing Vivekanan­da from the year 1897 to high­light my dis­ap­point­ment over how Amer­i­cans are so polar­ized and for how long.


  • As an Indi­an, liv­ing in what is called a 2nd tier city — Pune, India — I am frus­trat­ed and exas­per­at­ed over the so-called Amer­i­cal Idol show
  • Even if I’m liv­ing on the oth­er side of the plan­et, I am bom­bard­ed by media cov­er­age (TV, News­pa­pers, Inter­net, you name it) of the Amer­i­can Idol show
  • I don’t care a hoot about who San­jaya Malakar is, even though he may be of Indi­an roots, and may have cap­ti­vat­ed the Amer­i­can audi­ence (since I know he’s not a good singer)
  • I admire the USA for what it did in World War II
  • I used to admire the way Amer­i­ca treat­ed its sol­diers
  • I know the way India neglects its sol­diers


  • Who should be the “Real” Amer­i­can Idol today?
  • I don’t know the name of the win­ner of this round’s show (and NO, though I can Google it, I won’t)
  • It’s all over the head­lines every­where, all over the world but I don’t remem­ber the name


Read Cindy Sheehan’s full post regard­ing her res­ig­na­tion here.

Acknowl­edg­ment: I got start­ed on this thread of thought by the link on Pamela’s blog to Cindy Shee­han.


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  • Im ok with the show. live and let live too.

  • ALex

    With due respect don’t mix enter­tain­ment with pol­i­tics. Pol­i­tics is a seri­ous busi­ness. Enter­tain­ment is an inter­val. And for God’s sake lis­ten to Sanjaya’s mp3 & com­ment. BTW are u a musi­cian or a jour­nal­ist to judge this young 17yr old kid?. I am a music teacher & i can defi­nate­ly tell u this young kid has ter­rif­ic tal­ent. Plz also refer to Tony Ben­nett, Jen­nifer , Diana Ross & oth­er leg­end singer’s com­ments on his voice & per­for­mance. Get ur facts str8. Regard­ing Cindy, ur views are appre­ci­at­ed. Thanks

  • I do not take offense to this post. In fact I couldn’t agree more. When my son went in the mil­i­tary and had his first tour of duty in Iraq he was gung ho in buy­ing the line that we are help­ing the Iraqi peo­ple cre­ate a bet­ter life for them­selves. In fact they did help build roads and hos­pi­tals and the such. This was very rarely cov­ered by the media. Now that time has worn on and my son has made it to Cap­tain in the intel­li­gence /special forces unit he also sees the futil­i­ty of the con­flict and how both par­ties are politi­ciz­ing the was as more Amer­i­can lives are being lost in a futile effort.

    You have stat­ed your opin­ion very clear­ly and thank you for it.

  • MMP: Thank you. It is always a dan­ger writ­ing about sen­si­tive issues with­in a coun­try when one is an out­sider. In the case above, I couldn’t stop from express­ing myself…